Big 3 delaying pre-season tournament and regular season amid coronavirus concerns

Big 3 delaying pre-season tournament and regular season amid coronavirus concerns

The Big 3 will delay a quarantined, reality show 3-on-3 pre-season basketball tournament from this month to either August or September because of ongoing concerns about the novel coronavirus, a person familiar with the developments told USA TODAY Sports. The Big 3, which originally planned to begin its fourth season on June 20 in Memphis, is aiming to start the season in either the fall or the winter, the person added.

“It’s a fluid situation,” a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports. “It’s hard to provide a fixed date, but it’s happening.”

The person was granted anonymity because he was not authorized to share details publicly.

The Big 3 partnered with Endemal, a media production company that has produced “Big Brother” and other highly-rated reality shows, to launch a pre-season tournament beginning in the first week of May in Los Angeles.

The Big 3 and Endemal planned to test the participating 16 players and officials before quarantining them in a newly constructed home in L.A. and then playing in a local to-be-determined venue. Though Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti announced last week that free tests are available for those that live in Los Angeles, Big 3 and Endemal still remained sensitive to the testing shortages elsewhere and safety concerns for those traveling out of state.

The Big 3 and Endemal are still finalizing the participants in the reality show three-on-three tournament. But they confirmed participants for its fourth season on Tuesday about the league’s delay. That list is also not fully finalized, but the Big 3 had already received commitments for its 12-team league. That included former NBA players Zach Randolph, Gilbert Arenas, Joe Johnson, Amar'e Stoudemire, Greg Oden, Al Jefferson and Nate Robinson. Among the committed coaches include a handful of former NBA stars (Julius Erving, Rick Barry, George Gervin, Gary Payton) and WNBA luminaries (Lisa Leslie, Nancy Lieberman).

The Big 3 originally planned to hold games this season in Memphis (June 20), New York (June 27) and Portland (Aug. 22), while six of its other games would have taken place in L.A. (July 11-Aug. 15). A person familiar with the details told USA TODAY Sports that only a “handful” of tickets had been sold. They have issued complete refunds for the tickets that were sold. As USA TODAY Sports previously reported, the Big 3 were among one of several sports leagues on a conference call with the White House Coronavirus Task Force on April 28.

Big3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz previously told USA TODAY Sports that he and Ice Cube, the other Big3 co-founder and hip hop mogul, remained flexible on when to launch operations both because of their extensive planning and to account for public safety.

"Ice Cube and I are in the business of entertaining people," Kwatinetz said in late March. "In times like this, they need entertainment. We have to make sure it’s safe and that the basketball is credible and really competitive. We feel like we’re able to do that."

Follow USA TODAY NBA writer Mark Medina on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram


News Related


Trump’s ‘mission accomplished’ moment is premature and deadly. We have not defeated COVID.

Desperate for crowds and adoration, Trump has put his most fervent supporters at risk of getting a deadly disease. Future historians will be astonished. Read more »

NFLPA president JC Tretter says NFL is putting season, players at risk with its coronavirus approach

NFL Players Association president JC Tretter said Tuesday the NFL is putting the 2020 season at risk with its coronavirus approach, calling on the league to better “prioritize player safety.” “Like many other... Read more »

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says he tested positive for the coronavirus

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro says he has tested positive for COVID-19 after months of downplaying the virus’ severity. Bolsonaro confirmed the test results while wearing a mask and... Read more »

Venice Film Festival forges ahead amid COVID-19 pandemic with reduced lineup

The show will go on for the Venice Film Festival in September, but with a few modifications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers said Tuesday that they are pushing forward with plans for... Read more »

Amtrak offers buy-one, get-one promotion on its sleeper trains amid COVID-19 — with a catch

Amtrak wants you to have sweet dreams the next time you travel — so much so that it’s sweetening the deal on its sleeper “roomettes.” The rail service is offering a buy-one-get-one-free discount... Read more »

Florida teen treated with hydroxychloroquine at home before dying of COVID-19, report says

FORT MEYERS, Fla. – The family of a 17-year-old Florida girl who died last month from COVID-19 treated her symptoms at home for nearly a week before taking her to a hospital, a... Read more »

Mookie Betts worried MLB coronavirus testing woes could prevent him from ever playing for Dodgers

During nearly four months away from the game, Mookie Betts said he “stayed away from baseball to keep myself sane.” It’s not hard to understand why. The 2018 American League Most Valuable Player... Read more »

Tom Hanks doesn’t get ‘how common sense has somehow been put into question’ with coronavirus

Read more »

Can Gov. DeSantis force Florida schools to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic? Some school leaders seem doubtful.

PALM BEACH, Fla. — As concern about the state order spread online, some school leaders said: Not so fast. As Florida educators puzzle over how to start the new academic year, Gov. Ron... Read more »

Texas surpasses 200,000 coronavirus cases after 4th of July holiday weekend

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas reached 200,000 total COVID-19 cases Monday, just 17 days after crossing the 100,000 threshold, a figure that took the state nearly four months to hit. The grim milestone came... Read more »